Greta Thunberg detained twice by Dutch Police during climate protest

Greta Thunberg

7th April 2024 – (The Hague) Climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained twice by Dutch police on Saturday, 6th April, while protesting against fossil fuel subsidies in The Hague. Thunberg joined hundreds of protesters on a march from the city centre to the nearby A12 arterial highway, which connects the seat of the Dutch government with other major cities. The march was organised by the Extinction Rebellion environmental group, who previously blocked off traffic on the highway for hours before being sprayed by a police water canon and taken away.

On Saturday, dozens of police officers, including some on horseback, blocked the group from accessing the motorway, warning that violence could be used should the marchers try to get onto the road. Thunberg joined in with the chants and slogans during the protest, emphasizing the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for immediate action.

Despite the police blockade, some activists found another route and blocked a main road close to the highway, where they sat down on the tarmac. Thunberg was among those who sat down, and she was arrested and dragged away by police shortly afterwards. She was detained in a waiting touring bus with other activists and later released at a different location.

However, Thunberg and some activists returned and were arrested again for blocking a nearby traffic intersection, and led away to a waiting police van. A spokesman for the Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that the protesters were briefly detained but no charges have been laid against them.

The protest was part of a plan to pressure the Dutch government ahead of another planned debate about fossil subsidies in June. Activists claim that despite majority backing by the Dutch parliament and broad popular support to slash fossil fuel subsidies, the plans will not be implemented before 2030 or even 2035. They argue that the ecological crisis continues to rage, and the country’s outgoing cabinet is not taking urgent action to address the issue.